Coscto, Hawthorne CA / Gift card usage
I went to the Costco store in Hawthorne this afternoon to purchase some items with a gift card my sister had given me for my birthday. I had used the card once before without presenting my card (I am/was a member). This time I just handed my card over out of habit. The cashier (david) told me my card had expired and that I had to renew it. I said I dont want to do that right now just use the gift card as a gift. He said you can’t do that, you have to have a valid membership to use it. I told him that you do not have to have a membership to use the gift card. He called over a supervisor (alberto) and he stated that I had to renew my membership.
There were a bunch of people in line so I reluctantly renewed my membership paying for it with my gift card. As I was leaving, I thought I will stop off and ask the membership dept if I had to renew to use a gift card. There were 3 guys there and I told one the situation, all three said no I CAN use it without a membership card and that they shouldn’t have made me renew. So one of the guys (didn’t get his name but was very nice) took me back over to the supervisor and told him that he didn’t think I had to renew, the supervisor said yes I did.
A manger walked by and got involved in the conversation (Elea ?). She said that you did not have to have a membership the first time you used a gift card, but you did after that. I told her I did not see that anywhere in writing on the card or the website. She said it wouldnt be fair if people could just keep using it. I told her a hundred dollar gift card is still a hundred dollars whether it is one trip spending $100 or 100 trips spending one dollar. After that I said that was not what was mentioned when my sister bought the gift card. She think said you are just arguing, I am going to refund your money, but I don’t want to argue. (we talked for all of 2 minutes)
I can see how people might abuse a gift card by giving others with memberships to put it on a gift card so they wouldn’t have to ever pay for a membership. But that was certainly not my intention, since I have been a member there for a while. It just upset me that my sister gave me a gift card to buy tangible items with and they tried to get me to renew my membership with it. While the manager did refund my membership cost she was very dismissive and short with me and I don’t appreciate being treated that way.
So as of right now, I have no plans to renew my membership card or go to Costco again.